Biology of Invertebrates Done at Nielsen Park – Research Paper Example

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The paper “ Biology of Invertebrates Done at Nielsen Park” is a breathtaking example of a research paper on biology. The survey was done at Nielsen Park which is a section of Sydney Harbour National Park. The main objective of the study was to survey the diversity of terrestrial invertebrate fauna within the park and contrast the fauna of areas with a differing history of fire. Several different sampling methods were used so as to collect many species as possible. Different habitats were also sampled to achieve the same. Direct search techniques and nets to sweep vegetation were used to sample the invertebrate associated with trees and shrubs.

Visually attractive traps were used to sample flying insects. Those flying insects that are normally attracted to odour were sampled by use of odour traps. Ground-dwelling invertebrates were sampled by use of direct searching methods and Barlese funnels. Replicate samples from each main vegetation type in areas that were unburnt and in areas that had been subjected to prescribed burning by the management were collected. It was found that there was no significant difference between the vegetation types, thus woodlands and heathlands had the same effects on the species composition and abundance.

It was also found that there was a significant difference to burn types with regards to species compositions and abundance Introduction Nielsen Park preserves the largest area of foreshore bushland south of the harbour. Even though there have been surveys of some of the vertebrates known to use the park, there have been no previous surveys of the terrestrial invertebrates fauna. The fauna of the bush remnants in the park is threatened predominantly by changes to the vegetation they use as habitat.

The native vegetation is threatened by weed invasion, excess nutrients, dieback of trees due to Phytophthora, inappropriate fire regimes and physical trampling by visitors. Over 180 species of native plants have been recorded in Nielsen Park. This includes the endangered Nielsen Park she-oak that is only found in this location. The park supports two major plant communities, the coastal sandstone woodland and coastal sandstone heath. Over 120 weed species have also been recorded and the area is the focus of bush regeneration efforts by many volunteer groups.

Prescribed burning of sections of the park has been used to promote regeneration of native plants. The goal of the field trip was to come up with a complete species list of invertebrate that would be collected during the survey. The abundance and composition of these species in the habitats sampled were to be measured. Some invertebrates could be identified with the help of the literature that had been provided, while others which could not be identified were sorted into the “ morphospecies” group which simply means groups of individuals that we considered being different species based on gross morphology. Even though the main aim of the study was to survey the diversity of terrestrial invertebrate fauna within the park and contrast the fauna of areas with differing history of fire, these specific objectives were to be achieved after the survey; to establish the diversity of terrestrial invertebrates, examining species in their natural habitats, the study was also to contrast the diversity and composition of invertebrates in two habitats that differ in their history of fire.

The study was also to help the students gain experience in identifying terrestrial invertebrates, and lastly, the study was objected to examine the relationship between habitat and structure, function and/or reproduction.


List of References

Green, B., 1996. Countryside conservation: landscape ecology, planning, and management. 3rd ed. Oxford: Taylor & Francis.

Lacey, L. A., and Kaya, H. K., 2007. Field manual of techniques in invertebrate pathology: application and evaluation of pathogens for control of insects and other invertebrate pests. London: Springer.

Pawlinuszyn, J., 2002. Sampling and sample preparation for field and laboratory: fundamentals and new directions in sample preparation. Oxford: Elsevier.

Royal Society (Great Britain), 2005. Philosophical transactions: Biological Sciences, 360 (1543), p. 25.

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